If someone says they have depression, please take them seriously

I saw this tweet the other day and would like to respond to it.  The background to the tweet is that the pastor concerned had a high celebrity profile due to Justin Bieber attending his church. Sadly, as with so many pastors over the years behind the public persona was something different and his marriageContinue reading “If someone says they have depression, please take them seriously”

Grace Culture – the importance of swift repentance and forgiveness

I believe that a grace culture is one where we are quick to seek forgiveness, express sorrow and repentance, to offer forgiveness and to seek reconciliation.  This reflects the teaching in the Sermon on the Mount which is all about what it means to be saturated in God’s love and grace so that we enjoyContinue reading “Grace Culture – the importance of swift repentance and forgiveness”

Discipline (Proverbs 12)

How do we respond to the challenges of circumstances around us? During COVID-19, I believe I’ve seen three unhelpful responses to circumstances. The first is to leap in and announce that this is a plague and therefore judgement from God. Usually, such firm pronouncements come with an opinion on the specific sin we have committed.Continue reading “Discipline (Proverbs 12)”

Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)

On our After Eight slot for Bearwood Chapel we were talking about the bit where Jesus says to take out the log in your own eye before attempting to remove your brother’s speck the other day. I asked Sarah, in the context of this, what she thought was our primary responsibility in a dispute. SheContinue reading “Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)”

How do I want to be judged?

Jesus says that we will be judged by the same standard by which we judge others. This should slow us down before pronouncing a verdict on others. Judging is not just about coming to a conclusion about what has happened, it is also about handing out the penalty too.  When Jesus in Matthew 18 andContinue reading “How do I want to be judged?”

“The process itself was the punishment”

Yesterday I wrote about the accusations against an unnamed Conservative MP. Steve Kneale has written an excellent article today helping us to take our thinking further for church life. I would encourage you to read both articles and if you are part of a church leadership (or leadership of a local or national network orContinue reading ““The process itself was the punishment””

Stopping a virus from spreading

As churches we have made every effort these past few months to prevent a virus from spreading. We have self isolated, we have washed our hands, we have closed down our buildings for a while and when we have reopened we have been so careful to socially distance and wear masks. It is good thatContinue reading “Stopping a virus from spreading”

Leaders Repent First

One of my concerns during Coronavirus has been the speed with which some were quick to announce God’s discipline and judgement on various countries, communities and on the church in those places. As I have previously explained, it is correct to say that we continuously experience God’s loving discipline as believers and that this fallenContinue reading “Leaders Repent First”

Trusting God for the long-haul (2 Peter 3:1-7)

Have you noticed the consistent theme that has come through the recent government briefings. Within that umbrella word “government” I am including the road map document, civil servants, science officers and the devolved governments in Scotland. I know there were some controversial issues, some confusing messages and some disagreement. However, everyone was agreed that weContinue reading “Trusting God for the long-haul (2 Peter 3:1-7)”

If it feels like excommunication, you are probably doing it wrong

At the start of the Coronavirus lockdown when we began discussing what we should do as churches, one of the main areas of debate was about whether or not we could and should still share the Lord’s Supper (communion). All sorts of reasons were given on both sides of the debate. As you know, IContinue reading “If it feels like excommunication, you are probably doing it wrong”